The round-up: Brisbane’s best craft-beer brewery crawls to embark on
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed a surge in craft-beer breweries opening around Brisbane. Over the past three to four years, Brisbane has seen a huge influx of froth-soaked newcomers, with loads of independent brewers opening tipple temples to great acclaim. There’s never been a better time to be a beer fan in Brisbane, so if you’re keen to tick a few names off this summer, we’ve assembled a list of Brisbane’s best craft-beer brewery crawls to give you a sample of the plethora of Brisbane’s top-notch breweries.
Crawl #1: Newstead and Teneriffe
Aside from the hallowed grounds at the XXXX Brewery in Milton, the inner-northern suburbs of Newstead and Teneriffe might well be the birthplace of Brisbane craft beer. The boom began here and the area remains a popular precinct for hops-infused bar hopping. For a tidy trip, we suggest starting on Byres Street, where Range Brewing has brought some Scando sensibilities to the scene, offering a continuously rotating selection of beers to try (and some primo pizzas) so no visit is ever the same. Then we reckon moving on to the outfits that started it all – Newstead Brewing Co. on Doggett Street, followed by Green Beacon Brewing on Helen Street. These tipple titans have huge selections to choose from, and if you’re feeling peckish you can sample local street food at Green Beacon or select from Newstead’s in-house menu.
Crawl #1: Howard Smith Wharves to Fortitude Valley
If you enjoy your beer while surrounded by the sights and sounds of the inner city, then this crawl will take you through Brisbane’s pumping nightlife. Meet your crew riverside at the Howard Smith Wharves and start your crawl at Felons Brewing Co. for a few schooners with a side order of phenomenal skyline views before trekking less than 50 metres to the Felons Barrel Hall, where you’ll be able to sample some limited-edition barrel-aged beers. Once you’ve polished off a round or two, take the lift up to Fortitude Valley and make your way to Soapbox Beer on Gipps Street, where liquid gold and stimulating conversation flow in equal amounts. From here you can make tracks for Bridge Street (only a short stroll), where Stone & Wood’s Brisbane brewery has made quite the splash with its taproom and microbrewery expansion.
Crawl #3: Spring Hill and Milton to West End
Brisbane has always had a strong brewing history – so if you want to mix your crawl with a bit of old and new, we suggest heading for Petrie Terrace and Milton. Start off proceedings by lining your stomach and having a beer at Petrie Terrace microbrewery and burger joint Fritzenberger. Cruise down Caxton Street and make a left at Castelmaine Street to find Newstead Brewing Co.’s sizeable Milton locale in the shadow of Suncorp Stadium. Once you’ve sampled the range, head down Milton Road and pay homage to the greats at the XXXX Brewery Alehouse before angling your compass towards the river and new Milton micro-brewery and bar Milton Common (if you have time, pop in to The Scratch Bar and Mongrel for some crafty sips). The next step will see you either jump on the CityCat or cross the Go-Between Bridge to West End, where you’ll want to refuel at Ballistic Beer Co.’s Montague Road outpost. Next, make your way into the heart of West End, where charming microbreweries such as The Catchment Brewing Co. and Brisbane Brewing Co. await.
Crawl #4: Albion, Stafford, Northgate, Geebung, Banyo and beyond
Recent years have seen some enterprising brew crews filling in the glaring gaps in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. Before heading too far from the CBD, be sure to swing by Fonzie Abbott’s Albion taproom for a sample of the good stuff being produced at its Fox Street home. A notorious dead zone was filled in 2020 with the arrival of community oriented breweryHappy Valley Brewing Company, which pours a range of recognisable beers as well as some experimental mixtures. Over in Northgate, you can sample the phenomenal one-two punch of Aether Brewing and Fick Brewing Company, turning their neck of the woods into a thriving froth precinct. If you’re keen to keep trekking north, Geebung’s small-batch standout Hub Brewing is a terrific meeting spot, long-running local stalwart All Inn Brewing Co. in Banyo is a must-visit tipple temple, Brendale Brewing Co.’s brewery and taproom keeps it local, while Thirsty Chiefs Brewing Co. in North Lakes is a great place to sample some chemical- and preservative-free beer.
Crawl #5: Woolloongabba, Yeerongpilly, Salisbury and Brisbane’s south
Our southern suburbs are home to some of Brisbane’s best craft-beer brewers, with three in particular making waves in the local scene. The inner-south hub of Woolloongabba is home to Easy Times Brewing – a laid-back ale emporium that also boasts its own in-house barbecue restaurant operated by the Proof BBQ & Beer crew. Further south, Slipstream Brewing Co. in Yeerongpilly concocts a range of hop-forward beers to great acclaim (while food trucks are usually parked on-site for those keen on a feed), while around the corner Helios Brewing Co. is well known for its environmentally sustainable practices and ethically brewed beers. Only a short taxi ride away, Salisbury outfit Ballistic Beer Co. is a spacious open-shed operation that loves to innovate and bring the local community together. What’s not to like? Want something on the experimental side? Capalaba’s Bacchus Brewing Co. is our pick for lovers of quirky and unconventional beers. Out in Underwood is a hidden gem called Monkey Tree Brewing, where handcrafted, locally brewed craft beer is a specialty.
Crawl #6: East Brisbane, Kangaroo Point, Murrarie and Wynnum
The eastern suburbs of Brisbane Point has several points of interest when it comes to crafty hubs, with beer-brewing fanaticism starting to trickle as far as the bay. If you’re looking to make a day of it, start your trek at Brews Brothers Microbrewery and concoct your own batch of ale under the guidance of some expert brewers. Afterwards, make tracks for Burleigh-born Black Hops Brewery’s Brisbane outpost in East Brisbane and kick back with some exceptional ales. If you wish to loop back to the centre of town, head to Kangaroo Point and enjoy a sip at Sea Legs Brewing Co., which is serving a phenomenal range of core beers and delectable American-inspired fare. Over in Bulimba is where you’ll find Revel Brewing Co., which is also in the process of opening a larger production site, taproom and restaurant in Morningside. Further along the river is where you’ll find BrewDog’s mammoth Murrarie brewery and taproom, which boasts 28 taps of fine Scottish ales, Australian-made beers and a selection of brews from local heroes – well worth the pilgrimage. Out in Wynnum is one of Brisbane’s newest microbreweries – Hudson Brewing. This frothy spot is spreading the good word of hops to the outer suburbs and has quickly become a community favourite.
Crawl #7: Western suburbs and Ipswich
Fancy a froth-heavy expedition? Gather up the crew and plot an afternoon or evening of sudsy fun sipping (and gin tasting, if that’s also your thing) at White Lies Brewing in Sumner. On the way to Ipswich you’ll find Ballistic Beer Co.’s 350-seat Springfield Central brewery, bar and kitchen, which serves 18 beers off tap, ranging from Ballistic’s own brews to other popular craft beers. In Ipswich proper is 4 Hearts Brewing, home of the Pumpyard Bar and Dovetails – a great all-in-one option for drinking and dining.
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